Yesterday, the University announced that they are bringing in charges for outdoor washing machines. These machines are currently free of charge and have been since at least 2018 when I began my time at University.
The message is as follows.
From 20 October these machines will charge the following:
8kg wash: £2.30
18kg wash: £4.10
18kg dry: £2.30
The machines will be equipped with card readers to take payments.
We understand that the current financial climate has led to price increases across the University on a variety of products/facilities. However, attending BOP is not a necessity, it is a choice (rising from 5 pounds to 6.5 pounds this year). Washing your clothes is not a choice, and should not cost this much (if anything at all!), especially when considering the high rent prices.
On the basis that a student washes their clothes just once a week - one large load (18kg) or two smaller loads (8kg), and then one dry (all loads altogether), this will cost on average $6.40 - 7 (pounds). This means that students can be spending around 30 pounds a month just to have clean clothes, and this is only if the student does the washing once per week.
Further, a typical student accommodation contract is 37 weeks. If you add together 7 pounds per week , across the 37 week contract, this is equal to 260 pounds...just to wash your clothes!!
Some students rely on free washing, and such additional costs per month will put further stress onto students during such challenging times.
There will also be other students who will typically pay for their washing, though during times of financial struggle, whether that's weeks before a Student Loan payment, or a few days before pay-day, or when the washing room is flooded (a fairly regular occurrence), these students will also rely on the FREE outdoor machines.
This is not a suggestion that all washing facilities should be free during this time, but that the option must remain open to those who will undoubtedly need it.
If you are living on-campus, and do not wish to pay over 250 pounds to wash your clothes then UPVOTE this idea. By doing so, the Student's Union Council (made up of your Student Officers) will vote as an organization as whether to support this idea, or to oppose it. With support from the Student's Union, we become closer to stopping this charge being enforced.